Plant People – Graham Holbrook

Plant people LOVE plants and nature. Plant people have a thirst for knowledge. They wear many hats – they are creative, qualified, problem solvers, tolerant and most importantly, despite all the challenges of running a business, they enjoy the many health benefits and solving the complexities that plants bring!

Let’s look at the unique story of one our ‘Plant People’ and Interior Plantscape Member since 1991 – 30 years member!!

Graham Holbrook has quite a unique story.

Graham Holbrook started Living Simply ACT in 1982. Having 39 years’ experience in the indoor plant industry, Graham is very much a ‘fountain of knowledge’.

Yet, despite his scope of experience he says:

“Not a day goes by without learning something new in the industry or about my team and customers”.

He adds ‘My favourite part about owing and working at Living Simply is building relationships.

Staff are everything!  Without them you don’t have a business.

Engaging with the general public is also rewarding. Seeing the smile on our customers face when you look after them – Priceless!

Also the great relationships formed with supplies and from time spent as an industry association member. I value and respect strong relationships with colleagues, suppliers, customers and industry associates”.

Graham also commented on the sheer variety and number or plants he has the opportunity to work with each day.

Graham’s love of his profession is not just a job – but a true passion. “I enjoy and feel passionate about how the industry is always evolving”.

But! Graham’s indoor plant hire journey took a bit of a detour. He briefly recounts his steps to where he is today.

“As a young child I loved selling things to anyone! I sold aviaries and fish but soon learnt that there was a better gig out there waiting for me.

I started working for David Jones. And in my spare time supplying them with indoor plants for their store displays. That was fun, creative and challenging – exactly what I needed!

I was passionate about the industry so I started indoor plant hire business– Living Simply.

But now my business has evolved to include retail garden centre and landscape design services.

Living Simply has Managers for all departments. Retail, Plant Hire and Landscape Design and Financial – Processes.

Currently we are updating all of our processes and marketing strategies.

Our goal is to work on our core areas – indoor plant hire and landscape designs.

Retailing can be challenging, especially now with so many restrictions in place. Living Simply is continuing to push on with innovation and improving systems”

It was interesting to hear Grahams journey so I dived a bit deeper and asked:

‘How would he describe his management/leadership skills’?

“I enjoy coaching and motivating others but I also have a mix of other leadership qualities.

 Looking at others viewpoint is valuable. You need to be flexible and actively listen so good communication skills is vital for any leader”.

When asked ‘Why did you join Interior Plantscape Association all those years ago (1991)’?

Graham replied:

“I enjoy being part of a group with a common purpose. Advocates come together and share ideas and that is one of the benefits I value being an IPA member.

Over the years I have developed many friendships. Attending conferences in other States I had the opportunity of meeting fellow members and speakers from overseas.

And the information IPA is providing about the COVID situation is highly valued. An Industry association voice carries weight when dealing with Government departments. Getting reference numbers for members throughout Australia is great value”!

Interviewing Graham was very motivating and reminded me off this quote by Conrad Hilton, the successful American hotelier and founder of the Hilton hotels.

‘Success seems to be connected with action. Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don’t quit’.

We love hearing stories – there is so much to learn from other ‘Plant people’ so why not share your story!


Or call (M) 0452 590 255

Written and interview with Graham Holbrook, Living Simply ACT by:
Elaine Tunn

By | 2021-09-01T12:24:40+10:00 September 1st, 2021|